The inaugural Hamptons Comic Book Show went off with a bang last Saturday as guests of every age and level of interest—from avid collector to intrigued passerby—checked out 230 Elm in Southampton during the action-figure-packed day.
More than a dozen vendors delivered what these fanatics love: comics and graphic novels; wrestling action figures and anime dolls; trading cards and games, such as Pokémon; live artists; and contests galore, from the Cosplay—or costume-play—competition, ubiquitous at card and comic book shows, to the “Sound Like A Super Villain” contest.
Comic-Con East it was not, admits Southampton comic book collector and event founder Patrick O’Connor, but with limited prior exposure and a budding East End comic book scene, he said the event was successful enough to warrant another go.
“We will let a few months pass, enjoy the summer, get back to our alter-egos,” he said, “But chances are good that we will try this again next year.”
Those with a sweet tooth were greeted at the door by $4 cupcakes, raising money for cancer charities, and a healthy dose of eye candy—served up by a gratuitous, half-naked model handing out the tasty treats. In a room full of Batman T-shirts and full-character costumes, only the Hulk Hogan dolls had less clothes on.
With prices on pristine classics ranging into five figures, some diamonds in the rough—a vintage “Fantastic Four” or an obscure “Superboy Vs. Superman”—could be had for only $1. The loose and fun atmosphere lent itself to unique bartering, where trinkets or comics were often offered in lieu of cash that many vendors accepted.
Some vendors bought and sold as aggressively to each other as they did the passersby. “Hey, we’re all just fans at the end of the day,” said a smiling vendor from Tor Comics in Holtsville, who just added a $20 prize to his personal collection.
“Collectors who have not seen a place to buy comics on the East End for a long time devoured discount items and some rare collectibles,” Mr. O’Connor said. “Everybody that spent some time with the artists conveyed interest in seeing them work, and asking them questions about their crafts. And everybody got a few laughs from our tongue-in-cheek contests at end of show.”